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Australian WWII - Far North Queensland Metal detecting and recovery

Article about: Hi Blokes ~ I am posting this as an going blog for interested parties that have been following my fossicking of (extensive) WWII ~ Far North Qld Australia . This area has been described in r

  1. #311

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    Dean

    Yes ~ quite impressive ~ And I can relate to memory lapse on "finds" ~ I have only been at this for 16 months~ and some of my stuff I have to consider as to "where did I find them?" ~

    As for my costs ~ I ' get away with it' with my Lady only in respect that ~ I find it ~ bring it home ~ ( not buy it ! )

    Although I recently commented that I could easily get hooked on buying and collecting badges. She totally understood.. but tomorrow it would be a another ~ different partner completely ~ denying she ever said such a thing !!

    Pfftt !! Wimen !! LOL

  2. #312

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    The Shell case is a US 37 MM 1916 field gun as typical of the Stuart light tank ~

  3. #313

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    I have been asked about the 2 & 6 pounders shells I found ~ Maybe a nothing new to many one site ~

    A comparison and history associated with the Two pounder and Six pounders rounds we have found of late ~

    The earlier ones are 2 lbers and dial in at 40 mm essentially the same as the 40 MM Bofors anti aircraft gun ~ Range was approx 1000 metres, With a velocity of 2600 FPS ~

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    These are all solid practice rounds and are of NO danger what so ever !

    The Six pounder is 6.23lbs in weight and a velocity of <2800fps> . The shell has a diameter of 2.31"/ 57MM.
    And a range of < 1600M>.

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    068589 A two pounder Anti-Tank Gun of the 4th Anti-Tank Regiment, 8th Australian Division,

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    85569 RAVENSHOE AREA, QLD. 1945-01-13. 2 3 TANK ATTACK REGIMENT TROOPS ENGAGED IN LINE FIRING DURING A DEMONSTRATION TO 9 DIVISION TROOPS USING SIX 6 POUNDER GUNS.


    With "modern Technology " moving ahead these guns were soon redundant and ineffective against the German tanks. But as Japan never placed priority on tank and armoured vehicles , even the two pounder was deadly against their tanks!


    A poignant shot ~ which is quite amusing in the true 'vein' of the Australian Digger ~

    (Every site I dig there are masses of broken beer bottles! )

    Another "local" Tablelands WWII photo ~


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    KAIRI, QLD. 1944-11-23. A 2 9 INFANTRY BATTALION PICQUET, WITH HIS BOTTLE OF REFRESHMENT, GUARDS GROUNDED ARMS DURING THE UNIT'S 5TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Six Ponders V Two pounders (3)  .JPG  
    Last edited by AT P Sweep; 05-31-2014 at 09:10 AM.

  4. #314

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    Saturday 24 May ~ the weather after weeks on rain and winds finally cleared ~ after doing the domestics I finally decided to do a late run based the new QLD.Gov Google Earth add on ~ ( This offers huge range of improvements from view enhancements to all issues associated with Government local and state ~

    I essentially headed onto a well worked area but with a new slant and extended ground ~ Again as I was pressed for time with a late start ~ I also used the Garmin too plot the area with future references ~

    But I did pick up on an old "catch" ~ that is high pitch 70-80 but with high iron signal ~ ( ?!!) To dig or not ~ to dig and this time proved worth while ~ (I will dig those webbing buckles all day any day and love em !)

    The Mortar carry case with stock brass webbing buckle in situ ~

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    And using the QLD.Gov add on proved that the area IS public access .. I was later in the afternoon ~ told to USE the nearby gate and drive onto the site !!

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    One rusted chain in the initial ground ~ Nothings else thus far !

    Then a local came along with huge Alsatian in pursuit ~ Jiving me about digging up hand grenades ~

    ( You can bet houses I simply froze when I saw this bloody great Alsatian bounding at full kilter , straight for me!)

    They spent < 45 mins> talking with me and he pointed out a LOT of points. The area map is right ~ this is a public ‘Reserve’ ~

    He asked if I had accessed North camp and even said he has a block there and found heaps ~ distracted I neglected to ask about getting on there ~

    And the area east of the Platypus creek is where the tanks were stationed ~ more new revelation!

    So much information and I did not have my pen and pad with me ~ so I am planning to chase him up ~again !~

    And Ironically "Bill" kept stirring me about digging those hand grenades ~ It was revelation to him when I announced I had already found 16 2" Mortar rounds and two hand grenades in the immediate area ~ Plus my MD always rings as a 36 every time!

    But proved a real interesting bloke who may well have a lead onto farm areas not so far from this site ~

    As I explained I reckon the area we were in was a parade ground and actually found a AWM film footage wherein the troops were doing a parade for the Duke of Gloucester ~

    http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/F07127/

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    The small finds included the webbing straps and a single 303 blank plus a half spoon handle !

    Probably head back tomorrow as I started picking up fresh strong signals !

  5. #315

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    Sunday another day and a fresh target ~ not even 5 minutes drive from home ~ Actually a work place property which has to date back 100 years and had to have some dwelling/s as there are four blocks Incorporated!

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    The signals were almost instant ~ but so were the iron signals ~ and worse still the soil was so ionized the pin pointer went crazy !

    So I swept the three open blocks over 2 1/2 hours and was selective about what targets I dug !

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    This brass separation plate (75 mm OD) looks very similar to cartridge separation plates I have seen from artillery shell smoke shells ~

    The separation plates were fitted to separate the smoke canisters as the early smoke shells had exploded on the artillery breech and or barrel so they fitted the plates ! But unless an individual bought in the plate there is no obvious reason for it being on the site ~

    Plus a tank used at the time were usually a 40 mm or 50 mm gun ( Matilda ) ~ UNLESS they were servicing American Grant tanks which had a 75 mm gun mounted on the side of the tank ~

    Now I KNOW they had Grant tanks at Tinaroo , Herberton and Atherton ~ and there were Tanks also around Malanda.

    There were many WWII period Military Work shop in this immediate area ~spread around town ~ I have yet to confirm the site of all shops ~

    Although I know via the AWM references that Matildas were here in training ~ but they did not have large guns which accommodate a 75 mm separation plate ~

    ( This is all purely speculative BTW!)

    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/F07051/[/url]


    Grants tanks on Herberton main street

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    The two rings right side are large bearing 'cages' and are way too big for a truck ~ and IMO are either rail engine/ carriage or military tank! Perhaps a bulldozer ~

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    Not a single coin or any positive period ID item ~

  6. #316

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    Monday ~ Slow start to the day with threatening showers and wind gusts yet again ~

    Again I did some "home work" before biting the bullet and heading out around 13.00 hrs ~

    Again I headed back to the same well tried area and only because when I was there on Sunday and the recent rain which changes the composition of the ground did I decided to give it yet another bash !

    Very slow start ~ ironically yet another short piece of chain in the first area again!

    It was not long I was considering Plan B ~ but I did not have a plan B ~ so kept plugging on!

    Then as I worked probably the single hardest hammered 5sq-m in the entire area, ~ I pulled a triple webbing buckle ~ "Hello Old friend!"

    Feeling some what inspired I really started to work the area ~ and WHoo Hoo!!! ! Smack in the Middle ~

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    I was inspired ~

    I kept working the area right to the water line ~

    And Double-Whammo!! ~ right on the water line in the mud ~

    It was amazing I actually pulled this one as the half-square metre was crammed with metal detritus and fragments!

    So what is better than a Rising Sun?

    ????

    Two Rising Suns and even better a match pair ~

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    Then as the afternoon wore on ~ the rain clouds were a coming

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    But a good afternoon ~ in a well worn ground ~

    All other non entities and trash not included ~


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    6 Days soaking in Vinegar ~ problem is the badges are copper yellow ~

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    So trial lemon juice to turn back the original Brown wash ~

    Been layered with lemon juice for some 3 hours .. much better ~

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    Note the well worn hat badge ~ the "IA" of Australia is particularly well worn which tells me this badge has travelled a LOT of Miles ~ North Africa , Tobruk ! ~ the Middle East ~ even Greece , Crete and back to Australia ~ on to New Guinea ! ?? Who knows ~

    Boy! If it could only talk ~

  7. #317

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    Looking back several months ago ~

    Remember this? I found it on the residence site/ property , at Milla Milla ~

    Now the other thing I found was a standard RAA issue shave cream tube. Now recalling that the site was supposed to have WWII issues which we were hoping to confirm ~

    Ed found nothing related to a military camp ~

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    Well one of the blokes down south in mid western NSW has been working a WWII RAAF base near Wagga !

    And guess what Darren found on the site ?

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    The debate has been raging all week about what he found ~ I argued it was flare gun ~ another bloke argued it was merely a toy cap gun ~

    And guess what ~ Absolutely IDENTICAL IDENTICAL

    WT ~ ??? Starter Pistol ???

    Just rang Rebecca, who owns the property and she is going to retrieve it FROM the KIDS ~ and I will get some more piccies ~

  8. #318

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    Well Finally got the "renowned " hand gun back today ~ after another MD'er found the exact same hand gun in a WWII RAAF site just near where I grew up ~

    The debate began when JJ found the same hand gun ~ 2000 km away ~ and I found "mine" in a suspected WWII bunker site locally ~

    Rebeckah whose property I found the gun on ~ had actually done some research on it as soon as they removed most of the crud or most of it ~

    Seems mine and JJ's same find is purely co-incidental ~ Million to one chance that a fellow MD finds a same hand gun in a WWII RAAF site 2000 km away is amazing ~

    It is a Pope Company Repeating Cap gun ~ Special ~ Ned Kelly model WS 1868

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    Pope Products - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  9. #319

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    Well after some four weeks of non stop rain and wind the skies once again cleared ~

    So I tried a totally new site ~ but ut was well short of expectations and after an hour i ticked the box and left to return to a well owrked and favourite area ~

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    After a pleasant few hours I called it a day and headed home ~

    Sunday two of us headed again to familiar territory early ~ Perfect day ~ But heavy going at times as this is the Far north Wet tropics ~

    My mate neglected to bring his lower leg gaiters and wore shorts ~ this was potentially a bad move as he almost stepped on a large Black Snake sunning it self in the grass ~

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    The biggest struggle is the vines as they constantly tangle the MD ~ But we simply persevered with a level of success and variety of finds ~

    My first find was a cut pad lock which is very typical of this particular WWII site which was a Supply / logistics area.

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    On of Ed's excellent finds an immaculate weapons oiler tube ~ too large for a Lee Enfield IMO ~

    Number 25 ` (Hat ) Rising Sun ~

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    y 12.00 we were ready for lunch and then moved camp to an even more hard worked area ~ and in true philosophical trends of rained on ground will always produce the goods which seemingly were never there before !

    I was stunned at the sheer number of items which appeared in previously hard worked areas ~

    I found quite a few curiosities ~

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    This has been rough modified with the slots hand cut and the tip removed ~ and the inner core soldered (??)

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    This one is intriguing too ~

    ???

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    Turns out this heavily engraved piece is in fact part of a 'Schroeder Tyre gauge Patent 1922- 1932 Made in Toronto USA'

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    That Rising Sun and a cut piece which is inverted and reads as " AUSTRALIA "

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    The centre rod is a nice brass punch ~

    Overall nothing stunning short of the RS but a well spent day ~

  10. #320

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    ( Not sure about posting in a speciality section so ~~)

    WHAT IS THIS ?? ~

    As above found Sunday in a Logistics site WWII ~ site occupied form 1942 to 1945 by Australian forces ~

    Mostly brass ~ The steel rivets gave way when I dug it ~

    The right hand side has been "attacked" at some point and I think would have been the same as the left with the tension section .

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    Same with a 40 mm shell cartridge case in situ ( The case rim section has base removed. )

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    Last edited by AT P Sweep; 06-26-2014 at 06:27 AM.

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